Take Professional Advice
To ensure you pay the right rent, the right premium and have the correct business plan, professional advice should be taken.
Due Your Due Diligence
Don't rely on unaudited figures.
Do ask for VAT returns
Do ask for Bru Lines information (if available)
Your Rates Payable are calculated by taking the Rateable Value and multiplying by the Non Domestic Rateable Value Multiplier (NDR) for that specific year. The Rateable Value will normally change every 5 years. When purchasing or renting a property you can check the Rateable Value Position via the Valuation Office Website.
Do get your EPC - remember an F and Lower score is likely to be illegal by 2018 - you need to negotiate now that the landlord improves the rating at his cost before you sign a lease and it becomes your cost. Pub Innsite recommends EPC For Property
Do review this Due Diligence document click here for pdf
Use Stock Takers & Accountants
This will ensure you get no nasty suprises and keep on top of costs and Gross Profit margins. Most failures result from cashflow problems relating specifically to cost control.
Don't Go on an Expensive Holiday/ buy a Range Rover in the fist 12 months
Pretty self explanatory and relates directly to cost control - most businesses have cycles and you need to ensure your keep cash available from the good days to support you during January February and March.
Standards are what stand you apart from your competition. Ensure you are professional in every way, the days of standing the wrong side of the bar with friends are numbered if you want to drink with your friends do it in another pub! And ensure your pub is clean!
Ensure you provide what your customers want, and listen to them. Keep trying new ideas to develop and drive business, talk to others in the trade and visit competitors. There is a great report provided by Lester Pyatt which makes really interesting reading and will, if acted upon, proivide a solid base for growth, please click here for a copy.
Invest in Staff
Your most important assets are your staff. Keep them motivated by competition, rewards, personal development, exams, promotion. They are the face of your business and have to breathe your ethos and feel valued to ensure peak performance.
Rates & Utilities
Ensure you are not on emergency utility rates from day one of occupation and continually review the costs whenever your contract is up for renewal.
Review your rateable value when ever there is a change of material change of circumstance, eg new pub or refurbished competition or factory closure. Remember many pub companies will have specialist firms who deal with rates as part of your service charge - DO NOT USE NO WIN NO FEE RATE SPECIALISTS many are not chartered surveyors and are just cow boys. Also if your RV is below £15K you may be eligible for further relief which you have to apply for. For useful information click here
EPC's (Energy Performance Certificates)
EPC's are required before any property can be marketed. However there appears to be a recent excpetion, Pub Innsite has been advised by EPCforproperty.com that Listed Buildings are exempt from the requirement of EPCs - see below:
EPC for Property have today (09/01/13) received further guidance from DCLG regarding the exemption of listed buildings from the requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate on their sale or rent. The DCLG have provided it in a Q & A Document and I have copied this below:
Q. Can you explain the requirements in respect of historic buildings?
A. Any building which has been listed by English Heritage (or its Welsh equivalent) is exempt from the requirement to have an EPC on its sale or rent.
Q. How do I check whether a building has been listed by English Heritage?
A. See: www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/listing/listed-buildings
Q. The regulations qualify the exemption by only exempting such buildings where compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. How do I know whether this applies to my building?
A. We have included that qualification because, in line with Government policy, we have adopted a copy-out approach to the Directive which means that, as far as possible, we have transposed the exact text into domestic legislation. But in practice, it does not impact the exemption. That is because there are no minimum energy performance requirements for listed or historic buildings.
Q. Are buildings that are part of a designated environment, such as a conservation area, required to have an EPC?
A. Yes. The only buildings that are exempt are those listed by English Heritage.
Andrew Wheelan can be contacted on 07947 980543 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pubs which have land available for camping and caravans can benefit from a number of websites which promote the availability. Just google Pubs with caravan pitches and you can enter your details. Such an option can provide you with extra dwell time and captured trade, and many pubs offer pitches for free if a meal is taken at the pub. You can find out some useful information about setting up a caravan and camping site at this LINK